Toronto – Living – As Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto Pearson is preparing for the upcoming holiday travel period while sharing tips and information for passengers.
With large volumes of festive travellers, unpredictable weather, a bit of planning can go a long way.
The holiday season is traditionally one of the busiest times of year at Pearson and this year is expected to be particularly busy, as passenger traffic has steadily increased since the summer.
To help make the experience easier, Pearson and its airport partners have introduced a number of tools aimed at making flying easier.
- YYZ Express, an online reservation program that allows travellers to book a spot in the security line ahead of their flight, up to 72 hours in advance. This will help speed up the security wait time for passengers.
- Mobile Passport Control, an app introduced by United States Customs and Border Protection that allows travellers to digitally submit their information for a smoother departures experience from Pearson if they’re travelling to the US.
- A live wait times dashboard was launched by Pearson, providing travellers with real-time information ahead of arriving at the airport.
- A peak travel times dashboard was also introduced by Pearson, so passengers can look ahead to know if they’ll be passing through the airport during a busy period.
- Advance Declaration continues to be offered by Canada Border Services Agency, which lets travellers submit their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of flying into Canada, giving them a faster border experience and saving them time at Pearson. And new at Pearson, passengers who complete Advance Declaration will have access to an Express Lane in the customs area, further saving them time.
“The air travel industry is fully open and much improved since the summer when travel restarted and our modernization agenda with partners across the industry has led to new tools for passengers to prepare for holiday travel,” says Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “For the first large scale Christmas holiday travel season since 2019, we are excited to welcome passengers and thank the employees at the airlines, government agencies, and other partners for their dedication to passengers during this season.”
Passengers continue to be advised to arrive three hours ahead of an international flight and two hours ahead of a domestic flight.
Before heading to the airport, passengers can brush up on what’s allowed to take in carry-on by checking out travel tips from CATSA. In particular, at this time of year, it’s important to leave holiday gifts unwrapped when going through security, as all packages will be subject to inspection.
The week leading up to Christmas is expected to be the busiest time, as well as the days around January 9, when kids return to school. While the airport will be busy, passenger levels are expected to still be below pre-pandemic numbers.
To get passengers in the festive mood, Pearson has been decorated with holiday cheer and there are several activities happening in the terminals, including a family movie lounge, carolers, special YYZ Live music programming and more. Learn more about holiday activities in the terminal.